Consider this from yesterday’s Washington Post …
“A group of prominent U.S. evangelical figures, including several of President Trump’s evangelical advisers, met Thursday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose role in the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi remains unclear.”
What strikes me about this is how these same evangelicals openly condemn women who have an abortion, take birth control, or leave their abusive husbands, but they are willing to meet with a man who has blood on his hands and is a known violator of human rights. Can anybody explain to me how a woman who refuses to be a punching bag is worse than a man who just this year threatened to behead a woman and her husband for being human rights activists? Or how the marriage of two men is somehow more terrible than the bombing of innocent men, women, and children in Yemen?All indications are that Mohammed bin Salman authorized or ordered the brutal murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi last month, yet Donald Trump continues to throw his support behind bin Salman. And why? In part, because his friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked him to, but also because Trump has significant financial interests in Saudi Arabia. Trump has denigrated the leaders of many of the nations who are our allies, such as Canada, the UK and Germany, but at the same time, he is willing to befriend a cruel dictator … a man who almost certainly murdered one of our own.That Trump is such an unconscionable ‘man’ should not surprise us, but I am highly confused by a group of so-called evangelical Christians who are willing to turn a blind eye to bin Salman’s many human rights violations and sit around the fireside chuckling and telling jokes as if he were just another of the ‘good ol’ boys’.Just as an aside, does anybody remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia?
The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act allows the president to impose sanctions, including freezing of assets, against individuals or entities responsible for or acting as an agent for someone responsible for “extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights,” or if they are government officials or senior associates of government officials complicit in “acts of significant corruption.” In other words, Trump could freeze any assets held in the U.S. by the Saudi government or by bin Salman. Instead, Trump sends a delegation of his trusted ‘religious advisors’.
The group was led by author/activist Joel Rosenberg (pictured at top). As to why they agreed to meet with bin Salman, an article in Religious News Service (RNS) sums it up …
“U.S. evangelical leaders decided to meet with the Saudi crown prince despite the Khashoggi controversy because Saudi Arabia is among the wealthiest, most powerful, and most important nations in the Middle East, in all of history.”
So … still have any doubts about what takes precedence in the evangelical community?
The Saudi royal family is consistently ranked among the “worst of the worst” in Freedom House’s annual survey of political and civil rights. Their human rights violations include capital punishment, torture, human trafficking, censorship and imprisonment of journalists, killing of homosexuals and transgenders, and the list goes on. But, the religious leaders seem to have no problem overlooking those minor details.Trump’s evangelical advisory board has come under fire before for having tested the limits of separation of church and state by advising Trump and White House staff on issues including taxes, health care and judicial appointments. And now, they are assisting in setting foreign policy, supporting a cruel dictator. Ah well, they’ve been turning a blind eye to Trump and his obscene behaviour for two years now, so what’s a little bit of murder, beheading and dismemberment among friends, eh? Especially when there’s a profit to be turned.